Stretching Routine Before Practice/Playing

Here are some good stretches to do before you go out to play golf. You can do these at home or right on the driving range. When you are stretching you want to concentrate on your bigger muscles of the golf swing. I usually start with my upper body, shoulders specifically. Then work down to my legs and ankles. Then finish up with a good back stretch to finish!

Included in the stretches are:

  • Small and Large Circles targeting your shoulders
  • Shoulder stretching/reaching
  • Pulling foot up behind you to concentrate on thigh stretch
  • Ankle Circles
  • Stretching your back by rotating around your hips

Each stretch can be performed in groups of 5-8 times or counting to 12. Remember stretching is pushing your limits a little bit is good to get that full stretch and make you even mor flexible over time. No bouncing is needed just holding the stretch is best.

There are many more stretches out there that you can do, but I do feel these are some easy stretches that help you instantly warm your body up for the golf swing!

Check out the video to see them done properly!

How to Grip a Golf Club

Happy 2022! I thought we would start at the very beginning: The Golf Grip. It is important to understand how to grip the club. At first, yes, it can be very awkward but once you repeat the process, I promise it will become more comfortable. With this proper grip, the club face will have a higher percentage of not rotating a lot during your swing. Therefore producing a square club face that will impact the ball.

First, take your front hand (right handed players this is left hand. Left handed players this is your right hand). Put Your fingers together and wrap your fingers around the club. The grip should be in your fingers and not your palms. It is very similar to holding a grocery bag at your side. Your fingers will be holding the club like a hook. Then take your front hand’s thumb and place it directly on top of the club so the thumb is pointing straight down the shaft. Now that your front hand is in place on top end of the club, take your back hand and do the same thing below the front hand. Your grip should then look like the picture in the middle. This is called a beginner/baseball golf grip. Most beginners like to start with this grip because it is the most natural position. Try to relax your fingers so you are not squeezing the club to death. This is hard and we will go over this concept in a future blog.

Now that you have the basic grip, lets try the other two grips.

Overlap Grip: Look at the picture to the right. Start with the baseball grip and take your bottom hand’s pinky off the grip. Slide your hand up towards your top hand making sure there are no gaps. Overlap your pinky to your forefinger. What does this grip feel like?

Interlock Grip: Look at the picture to the right. Start with the baseball grip and take your pinky finger of your bottom hand off. Plus take your pointer finger of your top hand off. Slide your hands together and interlock those two fingers. What does this one feel like?

Try them all and see which one feels the best to you. They are all great grips. In the beginning it is a personal preference of which one feels the best. Then after practice and playing for awhile sometimes a grip change can be necessary to help the right parts of your body be active so your club face isn’t rotating. Yes, your grip can be very important this way. After all it is what makes the connection from the club to your body!

Check out the video –

Ball Position for Full Swing

When we use various golf clubs to play golf we have to change where our ball placement is in our stance. I am no math genius but there is some math equation that says when you use a longer club the ball placement must move forward to allow for the length of the club to come back to hit the ball in the center of the club face.

How we know how to place the ball is by starting with our shortest clubs in our bag: our wedges. Our wedges are played in the center of our stance. This position puts our wedge in the correct position for proper loft. From here  we can go to the direct opposite length, the longest club which is our Driver. Our driver is placed off of our front big toe. Again this puts the Driver in the correct loft position to be hit properly. As for the rest of the clubs, they are placed in the middle of those two positions depending on the length. Such as a hybrid: it is longer than a PW but shorter than a driver.

Proper setup is so important to help hit your ball properly. Please watch the video to help  assist you further.

Tee Height for Driver

Yes, I do believe we need to talk about this. Even though it sounds so simple there is a specific height you need to tee up for a driver. Don’t get me wrong, you can play around with the height of the tee if you are trying to change the flight of your ball purposefully but for our sake we are going to keep it basic!

Technically the tee should pushed into the ground where the ball is half above the driver head and half below the driver head. This shouldn’t be total precision but the more you do it, the more consistent you can be.

Now, it will look different according to what size driver head you do have. Now a days the driver head keeps getting bigger and bigger so you might feel the tee needs to be higher then a driver way back in the day!

 

Posture at setup

I am a big advocate of using your shoulders and hips to hit a great golf shop. In order for these parts of your body to be initiated put yourself in the correct position to use both of these parts. When you have great posture, your back should form a straight line. No slouching! Shoulders should feel like they are pulled back by your ears and your butt ( yes, your butt) should feel like it is sticking out. This initiates your core. Almost like feeling your abs, back, and shoulders are tense. Therefore your arms and hands can relax a little more. If you look I the picture above, my friend Mark has great posture. A good way to check your posture on your own is looking in a mirror. This way you can see what you look like and either acknowledge your awesome posture or fix your posture. If your body is setup properly, you are another step closer to a good swing.

Alignment

First thing is first, setup and alignment. Normally I would talk about setup first but a lot of golfers out there struggle more with alignment than anything. When a student comes to me and is worried about the direction of the ball, my first question is where are you aiming. Sometimes, they look at me and go, “Straight!” ….. well what is straight. First you need to always pick a target. In this picture it is the red flag. Now, we need to setup the ball to go towards the red flag. I put down an orange stick in front of the ball to verify that the ball is going towards the flag. Now I can setup my body PARALLEL (orange stick on left) to the intended target line (orange stick on right). Thus making parallel lines, with the ball going towards the flag or some people like to say “Railroad Tracks”. Most students, end up aiming their body at the target therefore their ball will go to the right. When I am practicing this is what I do first to ensure I am setting up properly. I can either hit the ball (please make sure the orange stick on right is far enough in front of the ball that it won’t be hit) or I can pick up the orange stick on the right and just practice with the stick on the left for my body. After I practice my swing with the sticks, then I pick up the sticks and go through a pre-shot routine to practice aiming without and aid. Always practice with a stick or something on the ground if you are not going to go through your aiming process. This will allow you to hit balls and work on your stroke without having to think of too many things.

PS: If you are a left handed player, it is flipped!!